Long ago, around 1915, a railway man’s little girl got washed away when Miller Creek overflowed its banks during a horrible storm. That little girl now haunts the creek near Ambaum Boulevard and 163rd Place in Burien, Washington.
The Drowned Girl’s Story
Back then, Burien went by a different name, Sunnydale, and it was nothing more than a few houses. It was hard to reach and people used trails through a dense, wet forest to get there.
The girl, an alleged descendent of Mike Kelly, lived in a small house by the creek. She would spend her days playing in the woods, collecting moths and caterpillars. Her mother educated her and a few other children in their home. She grew up in a very close community, all centered around the new rail line, the Toonerville Trolley.
The Tragedy at Miller Creek
In the early spring of 1915, a terrible storm came off the Pacific Ocean and pounded the Burien area. High up in the Cascades, the storm water collected until it burst through a lake made by log jams. The wall of water crashed through the wilderness and flowed into Miller Creek, causing it to grow to four-times its normal level.
Downstream, the girl played with a few friends, turning over rocks, collecting bugs and chasing moths. It was a rare sunny day and the kids wanted to enjoy it.
None of them heard the stream roar with rage until it was too late.
The raging stream, now more like a river, washed over the children, knocking them down and striking them with branches and rocks dragged from the Cascades. Two children drowned. Her father found her body where Miller Creek empties into Puget Sound, not far from Normandy Park.
The Miller Creek Urban Legend
Today, locals tell her tale, but refrain from looking for ghostly activities at Miller Creek. The girl, who still has no name attached to her legend, manifests on very rare sunny days after storms roll through.
She’s a benign spirit and doesn’t look to harm anyone. You’ll know she’s there because you’ll hear giggling no louder than a whisper, a gentle rustle of leaves, and moths will flutter around you.